Results tagged ‘ Derek Jeter ’

Hot Off the Press: July VL featuring the best player from every decade at Wrigley Field

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I’m a sucker for nostalgia, which is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed this season at Wrigley Field so much. I have been looking forward to Wrigley’s 100th birthday for a few years now because I knew it would give Vine Line a chance to really delve into the organization’s history.

We not only produce the magazine, but we also create the scorecards sold at the Friendly Confines during every home series. To tie in with the Cubs’ 10 Decades, 10 Homestands promotion, we’ve been populating the covers with photos specific to the years being celebrated—which means we’ve spent countless hours searching the team’s photo archives for just the right shots.

When the Yankees were in town during the 1930s homestand, we found a picture from the 1932 World Series between the North Siders and the Bronx Bombers. When the Cubs were honoring the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during the 1940s series, we found a photo of the league’s tryouts, which were held at Wrigley Field in 1943.

In the interest of full disclosure, my home is littered with black-and-white photographs of everything from the Chicago Theater to my relatives during WWII to the Cubs at Spring Training on Catalina Island. I love this stuff, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t spent a few evenings looking through the photo archives just for fun.

In other words, this is probably something I shouldn’t get paid to do (though I probably don’t need to spread that news around).

Some of the things that caught my eye when we were planning our 2014 content for the magazine last year were the memorable program and scorecard covers the team used from the 1930s through the 1960s. We liked them so much, we decided to dedicate the valuable back page of the magazine (The Score) to featuring some of the best of the best this season.

When we wanted to learn more about the scorecards, we went to that amazing wellspring of arcane Cubs information from every era, team historian Ed Hartig, who has been an invaluable resource for all the historical content we’ve published this year. It turns out, for decades, most of the scorecard designs were the brainchild of one man, Otis Shepard, former art director for the William Wrigley Jr. Co. and longtime member of the Cubs board of directors. For our monthly Wrigley 100 feature, we look into the life and career of Shepard and how he came to design some of the Cubs’ most iconic images.

It’s also the July issue, which means it’s almost time for the Midsummer Classic. For our annual All-Star issue, we set out to find the most valuable Cubs player in each of Wrigley Field’s 10 decades. To do this, we used the stats website Fangraphs to compile the highest Wins Above Replacement totals for each decade. WAR essentially takes all of a player’s offensive and defensive efforts and outputs them into a single number designed to measure how many wins he provides over an average replacement player. There are definitely some names you would expect (I don’t think we could have a list like this without Mr. Cub), but there are also a few surprises (Rick Reuschel, anyone?).

Finally, Vine Line had a dream opportunity in May when the Yankees came to town. We worked with Yankees Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alfred Santasiere III to bring together two of the greatest shortstops the game has ever seen: Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. The legendary players sat down for a tête-à-tête that is every baseball fan’s dream come true.

Of course, we’re good for more than just history lessons. Follow us on Twitter at @cubsvineline for the best of the Cubs past, present and future.

And let’s keep that whole “shouldn’t get paid” thing between us.

—Gary Cohen

1000 Words: Mr. Cub meets the Captain

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Even the great ones need a few hitting tips every once in a while. With the Yankees in town on Tuesday, Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, sat down with Yankees captain Derek Jeter for a unique Q&A that will appear in Vine Line and Yankees Magazine. Keep an eye out for the upcoming July issue to get the complete interview.

Cubs select Cal outfielder Brett Jackson

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgWith the 31st selection of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Chicago Cubs selected Cal outfielder Brett Jackson.

Jackson is an elite athlete who plays like his hair’s on fire. Patrolling centerfield for the Cal Bears, the 6-2, 210-pound Jackson is strong and muscular, with above-average speed and excellent range.

While his arm is average at best, he will make up for a short arm with long effort, diving for liners, chasing down balls in the gaps.

Brett Jackson.jpg“I didn’t really model myself after any particular outfielder,” Jackson said during a teleconference. “But I’ve been most compared to Jim Edmonds. Honestly, I try to model myself after a bunch of players. I like how Derek Jeter is respected and goes about his business. But I also like how Edmonds played.”

Jackson hit .321 with eight homers and 41 RBIs and 11 steals for the Golden Bears this season.

However, Jackson also struck out a team-high 61 times in just 218 at-bats this year. Jackson believes his athleticism will allow him to overcome the strikeouts, and in fact, they were an abberation.

“I haven’t been a big strikeout guy in my career,” Jackson said. “But athleticism is one of my main assets….I continually work on all aspects of my game.”

On his 19th birthday, Jackson travelled to Chicago and took in a Cubs game. He was playing in the wood-bat Northwoods League in Wisconsin and on an off-day decided to visit the “Friendly Confines.”

“It was overwhelming,” Jackson said. “You just feel the history there–and the fans are the best in baseball.”

Jackson said he has always been a Cubs fan, but more so a fan of the mascot.

“Once a bear, always a bear,” he laughed.

The Cubs also selected LSU second baseman D.J. LeMahieu in the second round and Owasso (Texas) High School left-hander Austin Kirk in the third.

–Mike Huang

 

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